Eight games into the 2011 football season, Aledo running back Johnathan Gray continues his steady climb up the ladder in the National High School Sports Record Book.
If Gray and the Bearcats return to the Class 4A Division II state championship game for the third straight season, that would provide eight more games for Gray to continue his assault.
With 1,990 rushing yards so far this season, the 5-10, 202-pound Texas Longhorns commit has increased his career total to 8,993 yards, placing him 12th nationally. He recently passed NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith’s high school total of 8,804 yards. Smith attended Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia in 1983-86.
The career rushing record belongs to Texas native Ken Hall, who totaled 11,232 yards while playing for Sugar Land in 1950-53.
Gray broke Hall’s single season state touchdown record a year ago, scoring eight in the state finals to finish with 59. Hall’s 57 touchdowns in 1953 had stood as a state record for 57 years. The national single-season touchdown record is 71.
Catching Hall in career rushing seems beyond Gray‘s grasp, even if Aledo were to go to the state finals. Gray would need to rush for an average of 280 yards per game for eight games, six against playoff opponents. But then again, Hall’s record of 57 touchdowns seemed unbreakable with one game to go last year.
Gray has a better chance at becoming the national career leader in touchdowns.
With 41 so far this season, Gray has 176 for his career, third best all time nationally. He needs two more to catch the No. 2 mark set by T.A. McLendon at Albemarle (N.C.) in 1999-2001.
To catch national record holder Micheal Hart, Gray needs 28 more touchdowns. Gray is averaging five per game so far this season. Hart finished his career at Nedrow (N.Y.) Onondaga with 204 touchdowns in 2000-03.
You can see Gray in action Thursday night when the District 5-4A game between Aledo (6-2, 5-0) and Birdville (7-1, 4-1) is televised on ESPNU starting a 7 p.m. CT.
Other recent Gray accomplishments:
*Became only the third player nationally to break the career 1,000-point barrier. Gray has scored 1,052 points, 194 behind Hart, the leader.
*Tied a state record last week with his 43rd career 100-yard rushing game, placing him fourth nationally. The national record is 55 by Kevin Parks Jr. of Mount Ulla (N.C.) West Rowan in 2006-2009. With three more 100-yard games, Gray will move past Emmitt Smith, who had 45.
National High School Career Scoring Records*
1,246 - Michael Hart (Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y.; 2000-03)
1,076 - T.A. McLendon (Albemarle, N.C.; 1999-2001)
1,052 - Johnathan Gray (Aledo; 2008-11)
952 - Brett Law (Sheridan, Ind.; 1986-89)
924 - Kevin Grady, Jr. (East Grand Rapids, Mich.; 2001-04)
899 - Ken Hall (Sugar Land, Texas; 1950-53)
National High School Touchdown Records*
204 - Michael Hart (Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y.; 2000-03)
178 - T.A. McLendon (Albemarle, N.C. 1999-2001)
176 - Johnathan Gray (Aledo, TX; 2008-11)
160 - Terrance Wilkes (Wadley, Ala.; 2003-06)
National High School Career Rushing Records*
11,232 - Ken Hall (Sugar Land, Texas; 1950-53)
11,045 - Michael Hart (Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y.; 2000-03)
10,895 - Kevin Parks Jr. (Mount Ulla West Rowan, N.C.; 2006-09)
10,241 - Toney Baker (Jamestown Ragsdale, N.C.; 2001-04)
9,668 - Terrance Wilkes (Wadley, Ala.; 2003-06)
9,662 - Toby Gerhart (Norco, Calif.; 2002-05)
9,442 - Troy Fleming (Franklin Battle Ground Academy, Tenn.; 1995-98)
9,426 - Tyrell Sutton (Akron Archbishop Hoban, OH; 2001-04)
9,193 - Brad Hocker (Archie, MO; 1988-91)
9,076 - Demetris Summers (Lexington, SC; 1999-2002)
9,004 - T.A. McLendon (Albemarle, NC; 1999-2001)
8,993 - Johnathan Gray (Aledo; 2008-11)
*National High School Sports Record Book